Foresight Engineering & Inspections, LLC. performs Environmental Inspections
TRANSACTION SCREENING ASSESSMENT
Foresight Engineering & Inspections, LLC. conducts Transaction Screen Assessments (TSA) or Environmental Transaction Screens that meet the requirements of the most current ASTM Standard Practice E 1528.
Transaction Screen Assessments are often for commercial real estate and used by potential buyers, brokers, attorneys, and investors as part of a tiered approach to environmental risk management, along with other reports such as the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. The TSA will document potential environmental conditions (PEC) related to the property as well as possible concerns with properties in the area of the property, such as nearby gasoline service stations, dry cleaning operations, hazardous materials sites, etc. They are meant to be a screening tool for those who wish to conduct extremely limited environmental due diligence and usually only recommended for low risk property types with available historical information.
The Transaction Screen is specifically geared for the following types of properties:
- New and Existing Commercial properties, office buildings, and retail stores, etc.
- Residential properties (housing tracts, apartment complexes, senior-housing facilities)
- Vacant properties (undeveloped land)
The Transaction Screen Assessment is often a pre-cursor to the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. The intent of this assessment is to identify the possible presence of hazardous substances and petroleum products on the property under conditions which indicate the possibility of an existing or past release or threat of a release of any hazardous substances or petroleum products into structures on the property or into the ground, groundwater, or surface water of the property. The “threat of release” is generally understood to be present when hazardous substances or petroleum products are poorly managed but the release of the contaminants has not yet occurred, and there is an opportunity to take response action to prevent a release of the contaminants. Other environmental concerns/conditions are excluded.
It is important to understand that the TSA is not adequate to support regulatory defenses to liability or to guarantee the identification of all possible environmental risks associated with the property. It can, however, provide an overall sense of the risk that a significant release has occurred or may occur and can be useful to real estate owners, and investors who are not concerned with CERCLA defenses to liability and do not require the degree of assurance provided by Phase I and similar assessment activities.
A Transaction Screen Assessment cannot completely eliminate uncertainty regarding the potential for environmental concern in connection with a property.
Foresight Engineering & Inspections, LLC. performs Phase I Environmental Site Assessments based upon the Transaction Screen Assessment results or a customer’s request/concerns.
Phase I Environmental reports are prepared for real estate and business transactions such as: land purchases, building purchases, leases, business purchases, new residential developments and bank loans.
Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) are for investigating actual or potential environmental risk or contamination on a commercial or industrial property or when purchasing undeveloped, vacant land.
Residential buyers in or adjacent to a commercial area or next to a service station, dry cleaners or other environmentally sensitive business, should also have a Phase I report performed on the property prior to taking title as part of due diligence and protect the value of the property.
A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is limited to a visual inspection along with a documentation review for evaluating the environmental liability associated with a real estate asset of any type. It is an investigation to determine if there are any conditions that are indicative of releases of petroleum or hazardous materials or chemicals at the site now or in the past. These conditions are collectively known as “REC” or recognized environmental conditions.
Phase I ESA’s are designed to meet or exceed the requirements set forth in ASTM Standard Practice E 1527 for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments.
If conditions warrant additional investigation such as presence of environmental contamination a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is recommended. Sampling, Testing, and Analysis of soil, air, groundwater and building for environmentally hazardous materials is not conducted in a Phase I ESA. It should be noted that a warranty on the environmental condition of the site cannot be provided, nor a guarantee of any kind. It must be recognized that at the completion of the Phase I ESA, there may be unresolved issues regarding the possible contamination of the site or the potential presence of suspect materials.
Foresight Engineering & Inspections, LLC. performs Phase II Environmental Site Assessment based upon the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment results.
The purpose of a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is to determine the presence, likely presence, or absence of substances (constituents of concern) in environmental media including; soil, soil vapor, groundwater, surface water, and indoor air. Phase II ESA normally is performed when the Phase I ESA identifies Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs) and/or recommends further investigation.
Some Recognized Environmental Conditions that may necessitate the request for a Phase II Report are:
- Underground storage tanks (USTs)
- Evidence of a release (leaking drum, compactor)
- Historical use examples such as Dry cleaners, Metal Plating Facility, Gas Station, Auto Repair or Machine Shops, Manufacturing, Hazardous Waste Storage, Lumber Yard and others
- Petroleum Hydrocarbons, Indoor Air Quality, Lead, Asbestos, Mold, Radon, Pesticides, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB), Radiological Hazards
- Wetlands, Endangered Species, Cultural and historical resources, and Ecological resources.
The purpose of the Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is to obtain definitive evidence of contamination and/or hazardous materials if present through sampling and testing to define contaminant concentrations. Normally, Phase II does not typically characterize contamination present nor is it a feasibility study, however, such can be included as part of the Phase II ESA scope.
Phase II Environmental projects can be done according to the ASTM E1903 Standard Guide for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Process standard or to meet a client’s specific needs.
When performing a Phase II ESA, the most important pieces of information necessary are:
- Areas of Concern
- Chemicals of Concern
- Local geology
- Site access issues
A typical Phase II Environmental Assessment process involves:
- Testing for various contaminants
- Site Surveys
- Client Meeting